Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fantastic Fish Cakes

Here's a little secret: I'm allergic to shellfish. It breaks my heart considering it only happened about eight years ago. Before that, it was crab legs and shrimp and all that other fun stuff that I miss so much. I'm not sure why it happened, but it came out of nowhere.

It all started with itchy hands. I was preparing shrimp one day and after I was done cleaning the raw shrimp, my hands started itching like crazy! I could still eat them at that point, but a few months later, my shellfish days were over. I ate some crab another night and my stomach felt like it was on fire. I thought (hoped?) it was a fluke, so like the seafood lover that I was, I ate shrimp again a few months later. Let's just say that a trip to the hospital was almost on our to-do list that night.

Funny thing is that my dad became allergic to shellfish about a year after I did. It's pretty strange how it all came about because I would have expected his allergy to come out before mine! My sister was a massive crab leg gal just like the rest of us, but she can still eat them. It's not as often because two of her crab-loving teammates are out of the game, but I still get jealous when I see her enjoying some shrimp or the ever-so-popular crab cake. I'm actually expecting her to become allergic at some point, so until then, sis, enjoy 'em while you can!

Before my allergy started, I used to really like those little crab cakes. I only had them a couple times, but each time was fantastic. Since I can't eat shrimp or crab, I put fish into crab cake form every now and then. It's a nice change of pace and a special, little treat...especially when they're this good. My mom usually hates things like this but she even loved them! They must be good because she's great at telling you if something isn't up to par. (That's a good thing, mom!) I think I'll keep her around just to keep me on my toes...

Cod Fish Cakes

4 c cod, cooked and flaked (Approx. 1-3/4lb)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c mayo
1/4 c panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c plain breadcrumbs
1/4 c sliced green onion
1 1/2 TB lemon juice
2 tsp dried parsley
1 jalapeno, finely diced (remove seeds and membranes for less heat)
1/4 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt

1. Bake about 15 minutes in 400 degree oven until flaky. Let cool completely.
2. Flake fish with your fingers in a small bowl.
3. Mix remaining ingredients in separate, large bowl and then fold in fish. (Don't mix too hard or the fish will break apart and your mixture will become mushy)
4. Form mixture into 2 1/2" round patties that are about 3/4" thick. (The patties should stay together and not fall apart or be flimsy. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg. If it's too moist, add more breadcrumbs - a little goes a long way so add a little at a time. 
5. Heat about 2 TB oil in a large skillet.
6. Add patties to hot oil and cook over medium heat until browned on each side.

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